Prince William and Kate Middleton are royalty, but their marriage certainly isn’t all coronations and public appearances. The real bulk of their relationship plays out behind the closed doors of Kensington Palace. Us commoners can only guess what’s really going on in their marriage — or can we?
Body language experts analyzed images of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge from the start of their college romance right on through to their three-kid balancing act. And based on the scientific analysis, Kate and William might have been hiding more behind-the-scenes than anyone expected.
Back when their love was new, Will and Kate were totally relaxed. The young couple approached their graduation from the University of St. Andrews effortlessly intertwined. But their wedding day brought a different vibe.
The strain in their neck muscles showed just how jazzed and energized they were to become husband and wife. Plus, their eyes hinted at a playful dynamic between them. Not long after, though, their relationship would be tested.
By kids! Kids feed off the vibes put out by their parents, and the bodies of this crew tell a tight-knit story: they walk in step with each other, a sign indicative of close bondedness. Unfortunately, this royal family isn’t always picture perfect.
Uh oh, you don’t need a degree in body language to catch these whiffs of tension. Leaning backward, clenched fists, distance, raised chin — all these are physical tells that William is peeved. Eventually, experts started noticing reoccurring themes.
One thing the experts picked up on is that, even when keeping a formal distance, Kate and William share genuine expressions or smiles. Here, Will let slip a rascally expression like they’re sharing an inside joke.
Sound the alarm, we’ve got a gentle supportive husband displaying his tenderness in public. That thigh touch? The pros say that means, “whatever you’re saying or presenting, I one hundred percent support it.”
Whispered conversations at Harry and Meghan’s Royal Wedding can’t be proper decorum. Here, the experts suggested Kate and Wills were showing no signs of romantic connection. All the chemistry was saved for the honorary couple.
Debuting a child to the entire world immediately after birth is an unreasonable expectation. Kate did all the hard work, but Will is the one showing stress. His reluctance to move closer or put an arm around Kate is out of character.
Much better, Duke. Leaning inward towards Kate is a good sign. If only that pesky umbrella prop wasn’t a barrier. Kate’s raised brows and muscle-strained smile are symptoms of talking to a trusted friend.
When in doubt, pinky out. Well, body language experts put the association to bed, clarifying that it points to an assertion of masculinity. Kate’s eye contact and smile reflect that she adores her spouse.
Before you brace for a royal divorce, the body language here isn’t a red alert. Kate explains her point of view, unflinchingly, and her husband isn’t entirely on board. The lack of eye contact and expression are confusion based, not anger.
Women’s Health Mag
Normally the royals refrain from public hugs, so this rare break from etiquette reveals a particularly intimate sense of belonging. William’s close-fingered touch exudes ownership over Kate — the feeling’s mutual!
Get yourself somebody that looks at you the way William locks eyes on Kate. Body language cues show Kate’s relaxed: her arms hold zero tension. Will is reacting to her smile. This lovesick expression is typical of the other royal couple Harry and Meghan.
Snuggles on the slopes give off mixed signals. Because they couldn’t see the angles of Will’s and Kate’s feet, the body language experts called this one tense a tense exchange — though you would be too if you were balancing on skis.
Maintaining eye contact during a brisk walk is a challenge the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can nail. They’re too busy crushing on each other to watch where they are going — a positive sign, for sure.
That smile doesn’t lie. Between William’s dry sense of humor and Kate’s naughty one, it’s hard to tell which sort of joke got such a good reaction. The closeness of their bodies indicates comfortable intimacy.
Pick anything from this picture and it screams, “This is a supportive relationship!” From the matching blue ensembles, a color that represents loyalty and stability, to the hand on the back, all roads lead to mutual respect.
No touching? No problem. It must have been a good day because these two look like they are singing! The experts noted the lazy swing of the arms, eyebrows, and mirrored movements as signifiers of easy enjoyment.
Granted, the Royals are under a microscope every time they step out the door. They might slip and let out some frustrations via body position inadvertently while trying to juggle all the tedious royal rules.
The next time you see Kate trailing ahead of her stiff looking husband, remember they have to teach 3 kids their ABC’s and the proper way to sip from a teacup. So if you want the jewels and titles, you’ve got to learn the rules.
1. No voting: This may not be an actual written law, but members of the royal family will not vote in United Kingdom government elections. It’s their duty to keep family life and political life completely separate.
2. Secret handshake: It may not necessarily be a secret handshake, but the royal family is taught a very specific way to shake hands. They’re supposed to grasp the hand of the person they’re meeting, lock eyes with them, and give one or two firm pumps.
3. Teacup etiquette: Teatime is a big deal in England, especially with the royals. When grasping the cup, it must be held with the thumb and index finger looped through the handle, and the middle finger is used to support the handle underneath the loop.
4. Mealtime etiquette: When you are invited to eat a meal in the same hall as the Queen, you’re expected to put your fork down once the Queen has finished her meal. Eating after a monarch is considered exceptionally rude.
5. Monopoly is a no-go: In 2008, Prince Andrew was given the board game as a gift, but he had to decline the offering. Apparently, the famous game is not allowed to be played among the royal family because it gets too intense.
6. Mourning wear: Royal family members are always instructed to pack a set of all-black clothing when they travel. If someone important passes away while they’re gone, they can return wearing the proper attire to pay their respects.
7. No shared plane rides: Although taken with a grain of salt, there is a rule that states no two heirs can ride in the same plane at the same time in case of a fatal crash. However, William and Kate tend to fly with their children frequently.
8. The Queen must approve all marriage proposals: This law was formed way back in 1772. The Royal Marriages Act states any member of the royal family looking to get married must seek permission from the current monarch before proceeding.
9. Bridal bouquets must contain myrtle: Myrtle is a delicate white flower from Germany, and every bridal bouquet must contain it. This custom began when Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a sprig of the flowers in the 19th century.
10. Royal formalities must be taken: Once married, royal couples must embrace the new titles handed to them. Will and Kate quickly became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, just as Charles and Diana became the Prince and Princess of Wales before them.
11. Keep public interaction hands-free: The royal family is supposed to keep their hands to themselves when meeting the public. They’re not supposed to interact with commoners, technically, but William and Kate do make exceptions to this rule; they’re often seen embracing fans in pictures.
12. Wear fancy hats: At every formal event they’re invited to, female members of the royal family are required to sport a fancy hat. The custom milliners in London certainly make a killing every time a royal event occurs!
13. Evening tiaras are required: If the women of the royal family are invited to an event that takes place in the evening (after 6 p.m.), ladies must switch from fancy hats to their diamond-encrusted tiaras. Not a bad switch when you think about it.
14. Shellfish is not supposed to be on the royal menu: Ancient tradition states that members of the royal family are to abstain from any shellfish so they avoid a potentially fatal food poisoning ordeal. Although the Queen still adheres to this rule, many other family members do not.
15. No garlic, either: According to reports from inside Buckingham Palace, the Queen absolutely detests garlic, and she refuses even one clove be allowed on royal grounds. At least no one ever suffers from garlic breath!
16. Maintain high fashion: Royal women must dress fashionably, and they need to keep abreast of the latest trends. There is only one rule all the ladies must abide by: absolutely no cleavage can be shown when they attend events.
17. Uphold formalities inside the palace’s walls: Even though newspapers and tabloids often refer to the royal family by informal names, like Will and Kate, all members are expected to address each other by full names only, including title.
18. Do not turn your back to the Queen: When conversing with the Queen, it is up to her to decide when the conversation is over. Even if the chatter has come to a lull, never turn away as though the conversation is over; wait for the Queen to do so.
19. Accept all gifts: People everywhere want to give gifts to the royal family, and when they do, the members must show gratitude and accept them. Well, maybe all of them except Monopoly. Too much trouble there.
20. The Queen can only sit on her own throne: This rule extends back to ancient times when one wrong seat on a throne could start a war. The Queen even refused to sit in the Iron Throne when she visited the set of Game of Thrones.